Faces of the Spirits; Masks from the Zaire Basin

The exhibition and catalogue ‘Faces of the Spirits; Masks from the Zaire Basin’, present a view of masking practice and the mask as work of art among the peoples who inhabit the region of the Zaire River’s basin.  The masks were primarily chosen for their artistic qualities.  It would, however, be remiss to limit our treatment to the plastic aspects of these artifacts.  One should also endeavor to uncover the reasons behind their creation.  These were dictated from out of a belief in the supernatural wherein may be counted a number of spirits or beings that, incarnated in the form of masks, actively appear and intervene during the course of the lives of the people concerned.



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